Monday, October 31, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Happy Halloween!

I had a wonderful time reading Halloween Pie by Michael O. Tunnell to the kindergarteners last week.

It's an oldie-but-a-goodie, published in 1999.  I read it to my own children when they were little (the paperback copy is still on my home shelf), and was delighted to find it in the stacks at my school library.

The illustrations by Kevin O'Malley are appropriately dark and spooky, but somehow not scary!  The story has so much to offer for a read-aloud:
  • repeated phrases
  • places to stop and make predictions and inferences, based on text and pictures (What do the creatures smell?  Why did they fall asleep?  How do you think the witch will react?  What happened to the creatures?  What do you think the witch will do next?)
  • my favorite feature--lots of synonyms for "sleep", on the two-page spread where the graveyard creatures snooze in the witch's cottage
The kindergarteners were on the ball in the Book Nook, making connections with their classroom learning of separating fiction from nonfiction, connecting information from one part of the story to another, and gauging the efficacy of the witch's spell.

It's All Hallows' Eve!  What spooky books are you reading with your listeners?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Mrs. Woodul and Ms. Margocs really do like getting new books for the library!

We get new books in lots of different ways.  The library gets an annual budget from the school district based on the number of students we have.  The books above are some that were bought with those funds.

We also pull some books from the Scholastic Book Fairs and add them to our collection, using our Scholastic Dollars to pay for them.  Here's what we pulled this fall:

We will be receiving new sets of some of our well-loved series very soon, thanks to the generosity of our PTA!  Pictures will be posted as soon as they arrive!

Remember, you can help our library collection grow by purchasing a birthday book for $15!  Just fill out the form here:

Last Thursday, Ms. Margocs kept track of classes and visitors to our library for Texas Library Snapshot Day.  She will be sharing the information with our district Library Services, who will report to administrators to show just how essential our libraries are in our schools.

This was our schedule last week!
This week, we are still reviewing nonfiction text features with second graders, discussing genres and Bluebonnet Award Nominees with third through fifth graders, and reading Halloween Pie by Michael O. Tunnell with our kindergarteners. 

Tomorrow is our annual Coins for Coats Drive!  The money we collect helps to buy coats for students in need right here in Round Rock ISD.  Bring your change to support a great cause!  The class with the highest contribution from each grade level wins flashlight time in the library!

Thank you to all the volunteers who have visited our library this week to shelve books and restore order to well-loved sections! 

Monday, October 24, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

I opened up a chapter book this weekend!  This shouldn't be surprising, as I am a school librarian...but my reading stamina wanes at home during the school year.  I think it's the days of reading aloud, professional learning, discussing books, and reading/ composing emails that wears my eyes out.  Picture books are my saving grace from August through May!

I picked up a newly-released copy of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas  from our review table at our last librarians' meeting.  

Written by John Boyne, it was originally published in 2006 and made into a movie in 2008. Both events eluded me ten years ago, but I'm happy to be catching up with the book now.

Oliver Jeffers is a favorite illustrator of mine, and his style lends itself perfectly to this story of two boys on opposite sides of the fence at a Jewish concentration camp.  I am only a few chapters into the book--Bruno, the main character, has just moved into their new house outside of the camp--and the characters already seem real to me.  Bruno, in his nine-year-old-boy egocentricity; his mother, an unhappy military wife; and his father, a rising officer with close ties to "the Fury", as Bruno calls Hitler.

With background knowledge about the Nazi regime and life in the concentration camps, I realized that the family's newest house servants were prisoners; it will be interesting to see how long it takes for Bruno--and my young readers--to figure this out as well.  I'm looking forward to tucking into bed with this book for the next few nights.

It's Monday; what book are you excited about this week?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

We had a great turnout for our fall Scholastic Book Fair last week, resulting in a new school record for sales!  The proceeds will help fund our author visits, equipment, supplies, professional development, and books for the library.  

We are back on our regular library schedule this week!  Third through fifth graders are reviewing genres and Bluebonnet Award nominees, kindergarteners are listening to Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins, first graders are learning about Golda Meir in Goldie Takes a Stand by Barbara Krasner, and second graders are reviewing nonfiction text features using a Nearpod lesson on the iPads!  There's lots of learning going on in our library--

Welcome Back!

Monday, October 17, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

We had our fall Scholastic Book Fair in the library all last week, so I didn't get to do any read-alouds.

The upside is that I got to spend an entire week booktalking with students, parents, and teachers, as they looked for books to purchase and checked out at the registers.

These are the books I saw flying off the carts and tables last week:
  • The Book With No Pictures, by B.J. Novak.  I can't keep this book on my shelves at school, and now several children have hardbound copies of their own from the book fair!  This must be read aloud to be enjoyed to the fullest.
  • Ghosts, by Raina Telgemeier.  This graphic novel from the author of Smile portrays the life of a family dealing with the chronic illness of a child.  Telgemeier is receiving kudos for the way she handles death in this story.  Dozens of copies were sold last week.
  • The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton--our read-aloud two weeks ago--was happily snatched up by several kindergarteners.  Yes, the parents knew the word "fart" was used twice in the book! 
  • Dog Man, by Dav Pilkey.  We sold out of the first and second stack of these!  A favorite among boys...who I am guessing are also fans of Captain Underpants.
  • Wonder, Auggie and Me, and 365 Day of Wonder--all by R.J. Palacio, and all big sellers.  Wonder was our school district-wide community read a couple of years ago, and it is heartening to know it is still impacting young readers today.
We had a terrific turnout at our book fair--thank you to our learning community for supporting our library with your purchases and volunteer hours!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Scholastic Book Fair!  That's what's going on in the library!

Come shop for great books--and great bargains--this week in the library!  We have favorite series additions, picture books, biographies, mysteries, and adventures.  There's a table with Bluebonnet Award nominees to add to your collection, and coding books to create your own digital projects.

Proceeds from our book fairs fund author visits, library supplies, our Bluebonnet Breakfast, books for the school and literacy libraries, databases for research and reading, and professional development for the librarian and teachers.  

We are open today and Thursday from 715a to 400p, and Friday from 715a to 600p--followed by the PTA movie night!

Thanks for supporting our library program!

Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Text-to-self connection immediately came to mind when I saw this title on the book review table at our librarians' meeting:
Yes, I have experienced this minor catastrophe.  Unlike the family in the book, however, I was 6,500 miles away while the squirrel resided in our house.  It entered through the door I left open as we were loading the car at 345a, preparing for a trip to Tokyo, Japan to visit our daughter, who was studying abroad.  I noticed an odd sound in the living room while doing one last look-over before locking the door, but chalked it up to old house/ appliance noises.

The squirrel was discovered by my son's friend, who noticed something looking out our dining room window and investigated, only to find the brown rodent staring back at him.  He had the presence of mind to alert our next-door neighbor, who spent the next two days trying to extricate the squirrel.  It had five days in our house, binging on fruit and a loaf of bread, running across curtain rods, knocking down plants and using our furniture as a bathroom before our neighbor enticed it through the dining room window. 

Of course, I had to pick this book and bring it home!  It is a madcap tale from the squirrel's perspective of a day spent in and around a family's home.  There is the expected chaos and a wintry rescue of a young family member.  At just 72 pages, Squirrel in the House by Vivian Vande Velde, illustrated by Steve Bjorkman, is a great read-aloud to teach sequencing and writing from another point of view.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

It's Wednesday! What's happening in the Sommer Library?

Last week, we continued lessons on exploring the databases with third and fourth grade, a review of the nonfiction section with fifth grade, and read a biography of Golda Meir with our kindergarteners!

During school pictures in the library on Friday, Ms. Margocs brought the library to the classrooms! Mrs. Larson caught our librarian in action:

We had a WONDERFUL author visit with Chris Barton on Monday morning.  Third and fourth grades learned more about the writing process, and how Mr. Barton gets his ideas for books.  My favorite advice from the author is his reason for writing nonfiction stories:

Speaking of writers, our first graders have been writing books on citizenship for our library collection! They share ways we can all be good citizens in school by following expectations and being kind to others.

The first group of the fifth grade Book Lunch Bunch met on Monday!  Ms. Margocs will be emailing the next three groups this week with dates for their meetings.

Have you seen the posters in the halls?  Heard Ms. Margocs and Ms. Woodul talk about the BIG EVENT next week?  Yes, it's BOOK FAIR time in our library starting October 10th!  Parents can shop during conference day on Monday, and students can drop by to shop starting Tuesday morning. We will be open until 4pm each day--and until 6pm on Friday, followed by PTA Movie Night.  
Please visit our book fair to buy some great books and support our library program!  Proceeds from the fair pay for author visits, database subscriptions, Bluebonnet Breakfast, and books for the library.

The library will be closed for checkout during the Book Fair next week; we hope to see all of our students as they shop for books to add to their home library.

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading?

We've had an interesting week in the Book Nook of our library, reading Goldie Takes a Stand: Golda Meir's First Crusade by Barbara Krasner, illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley:
I was hesitant about reading this to our kindergarteners.  Would they be able to understand the historical aspects of the story?  Would they get the importance of Goldie's statement about education being the way out of poverty?  Would they appreciate the importance of Golda Meir becoming the Prime Minister of Israel?

Luckily, the kindergarten classes have been studying community helpers lately, and I was able to make that connection with this book.  I'm not sure whether they truly understood the conditions of life a hundred years ago, when people lived in two room houses and bread was three cents a loaf.  I had to explain the definition of "textbook", and how they are just handed out in today's public schools; the children in Goldie's day had to purchase theirs.  

Maybe they will at least remember the name, to trigger a mental spark when it comes up again in world history class.

As for my personal reading, I spent a lot of time this past weekend doing online research of the care and feeding of monarch and queen butterfly caterpillars.  There are more than a dozen living on a milkweed plant in my backyard container garden!  I can't wait to see if they hang around long enough to form chrysalises.

I am also reading The Woman in this Poem:  Women's Voices in Poetry, selections chosen by Georgia Heard.  After the focus on diversity in last week's Banned Books Celebration, I felt drawn to find myself in the written word; this book accomplishes just that.

It's Monday; what's in your reading pile this week?